Today is your first birthday. Last year, before you were born, things were not so happy and pleasant. I remember the feeling of contentment I had before drifting off to sleep the night before. It all came crashing down.
It was around two in the morning when the pain in my belly started again. My blood pressure had sky-rocketed again. I finally called your dad around 3, because I couldn't breathe very well due to the pain and I was scared. He didn't answer the phone the first time I called. (He is a pretty heavy sleeper.) I gave him a few minutes and called again, this time he answered. My nurses kept coming in and giving me different things to bring down my BP, but nothing was working. I was given some anti-nausea medicine when we were sure the only way to get me better was to deliver. It didn't work very well. Apparently, I throw up when I am in a lot of pain. Daddy finally got to my room around 4 a.m., and all I could do when he got there was cry, throw up and urinate all over myself. It was a mess...I was a mess. I had no control over anything. I tried moving in different positions to relieve the pain, but nothing was working. The NICU nurse came in around 6 a.m. to explain what would happen after our sweet girl was born. I was crying so hard, I don't remember what she said. Dad had to sign all the papers. Finally around 7 a.m., my nurse gave me some pain medicine, and I immediately relaxed. I just laid back on my bed and focused on breathing. Daddy went into the bathroom to say a prayer and shed some tears. This was really hard on him, too.
The pain meds were wearing off after only 30 minutes, and I begged for more. I received 3 doses of the mystery drug, about every half hour. They were only suppose to give me 1 dose every hour. I remember Dr. Smith coming in during my relaxing phase. He told Dad that I needed to be delivered. He was afraid of my kidneys shutting down, or my liver exploding. (Nice, right?) When the third dose of happiness started to wear off, I was being wheeled into the OR. Right then, in that moment, I finally stopped being mad at Dr. Howerton, who had insisted that Dustyn be a C-section. I was not afraid of this delivery. I knew what was going to happen, and I knew I would heal quickly and without much pain. Right then, I was so glad Dustyn was a C-section.
I will never forget the moment I heard you cry. It was the most beautiful sound in the world. Daddy took some pictures and video, and then carried you over to me and I got to kiss your little head before he took you into the NICU.
I slept most of the day. I was wheeled in to hold you later that night, and I couldn't get over how small you were, how perfect. You were deemed the champion of the NICU. You never needed a feeding tube or oxygen. You were strong...a fighter. I don't understand now, and maybe I never will, why you needed to come early. I do know there is a purpose for you on this earth. I only hope I'm qualified to help you reach your full potential.
Today, you are happy and healthy. You are so beautiful! I love the way your hair curls when it's wet. I love how your siblings still refer to you as "Baby Natalie". I love how they giggle every time you let out a loud scream. I love that you spit your tongue at me when I try to get you to say "Momma", but say "Dada" perfectly. I love you, baby girl. I am so grateful for your little personality and the sweet spirit you bring into our home. Happy birthday!